Sailing The Galapagos With Silversea

Last week we wrote about cruise lines that visit Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Though the area has opened up to more modes of mainstream travel, the Galapagos  is still mysterious for some. So, over the next few weeks I will break down Galapagos itineraries by cruise line. Before reading about the itineraries, be sure to update familiarize yourself with the region by visiting our Galapagos page.

It seems fitting to start this series with Silversea, since Silversea will welcome a new ship to the Galapagos in 2020. Bookings have just opened for Silver Origin’s maiden season. However guests can sail to the Galapagos aboard Silversea’s Silver Galapagos this season.

Guests embark Silver Galapagos after an afternoon of exploration at Punta Espinoza, Galapagos. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Silversea keeps it simple in that the company offers only one Galapagos itinerary, Baltra to San Cristobal or the reverse. However, there are a few pre- and post-cruise extensions for travelers who are looking to extend their journeys.

Pre- And Post-Cruise Extensions

Machu Picchu & Sacred Valley

The first extension option is a five-night pre-cruise tour called Machu Picchu & Sacred Valley. Though these programs are always subject to change, this tour will start in Lima. After travelers arrive at the Lima airport, they will be transferred to a hotel.

The second day of this tour will take travelers from Lima to Cuzco, a 90-minute flight from the Peruvian capital. In Cuzco, travelers will visit museums and historical sites. After a day in Cuzco, travelers will be taken to the Sacred Valley in Urubamba.

On day three, guests will continue on their journey to the fortress of Ollantaytambo, and then onward to Machu Picchu by train. The afternoon and evening will allow guests the opportunity to explore the town.

On the second to last day, guests will spend additional time in Machu Picchu before returning back to Cuzco by train.

The last day of the tour will take guests through Cuzco on a city tour, and then onward to the airport for a flight to Quito, where they will overnight before heading to Silver Galapagos.

Devil’s Nose & Andean Adventure

The other pre-cruise tour option offered by Silversea is the Devil’s Nose & Andean Adventure tour. Guests will fly into Quito where they will transferred to a hotel and allowed free time in the city.

On the second day of the tour, guests will visit Cotopaxi National Park before heading onto Lasso, Ecuador. In the park, guests will have to chance to visit the Laguna Limpiopungo or the Salitre pre-Inca ruins where they may have an opportunity to see wildlife such as wild horses and Andean Condors.

Day three will take guests through the Andes to the villages of Tigua and Pujilí. Guests will overnight in Riobamba, Ecuador.

Starting in Riobamba, the fourth day of this tour will take guests from Riobamba to Alausi down the Devil’s Nose section of the line.

Guests will then visit the Incan ruins of Ingapirca before driving to Cuenca to overnight.

On the last day of the extension, guests will take a panoramic your of Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After exploring the town, guests will drive to Guayaquil where they will spend the night before embarking on Silver Galapagos the following day.

Machu Picchu Grande Explorer

There is one post-cruise extension offered on Silversea’s Galapagos itineraries. Guests will start at their disembarkation location of either Baltra or San Cristobal, and then will fly to Lima where they will overnight.

On day two of the tour, guests will fly to Cuzco, where they will have a free day. On day three, passengers will visit Machu Picchu to explore Incan sits and ruins. The next day, guests will travel from Machu Picchu to Cuzco by train to spend free time in the city at night.

The final day of the tour will take guests back to Lima from Cuzco, where they will fly home after a week of cruising.

The Itineraries

All of Silversea’s Galapagos itineraries start and end in either Baltra or San Cristobal, depending on the sailing selected. Each itinerary is seven days, though stops and ports may vary.

One itinerary features stops in Roca Leon Dormido, Bartolome, Playa Espumilla, Punta Vicente, Punta Espinoza, Caleta Tagus, Bahia Elizabeth, Post Office Bay, Islote Campeon, Punta Cormorant, Cerro Dragon, Las Bachas, Los Gemelos, and Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora.

The other itinerary features stops in Isla Daphne Grande, Bahia Darwin, El Barranco, Seymour Norte, Bahia Sullivan, Rabida, El Eden, Galapaguera, Punta Pitt, Gardner Bay, Punta Suarez, Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora, and Plazas Sur.

The Vessels

Silversea’s Silver Galapagos is Silversea’s older Galapagos vessel, which the line acquired in 2013.

Read the full ship review

Silver Origin will join Silversea’s fleet in 2020.

Read more about Silver Origin

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